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Lowry said that Anahuac Transport Inc. admitted to falsifying his records and delivering potentially tainted rocket fuel for NASA and Department of Defense (DOD) rocket launches.
Corporation representatives Gary Monto and Brant Sharpio pleaded guilty on February 29. 23 on behalf of the company. They agreed to confiscate $251,401 of the gross proceeds from the criminal scheme.
On July 14, U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett ordered the company to serve three years of probation and pay an additional $275,000 fine.
During the hearing, the court noted the importance of the Johnson Space Center to the identity of the Houston area and that it was a privilege for a company like Anahuac to play a role in the US space program. Lowry said he noticed that Anahuac had abused this privilege.
At the time of filing, Monto, Sharpio, and Anahuac had declared voluntary exclusion from the United States. Each agreed to a two-year contract ban from the federal government.
NASA and DOD have signed contracts with various companies, including Space Explorations Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) to launch rockets with supplies for the International Space Station and military payloads.
These companies purchased fuel for rocket launches and entered into contracts to transport fuel to launch sites. Anahuac was involved in the transportation of chemicals in tank trucks. From 2012 to 2020, Anahuac was subcontracted by NASA and the Department of Defense to carry rocket fuel.
To prevent contamination, Anahuac required that the tank trailer they used was free of previously defined chemicals that can have adverse reactions to the fuel.
However, Lowry stated that Anahuac intentionally falsified its paperwork, claiming it had not previously transported incompatible chemicals with its tank trailers. In fact, it was.
Officials said that Anahuac was transporting rocket fuel on its contaminated trailers, and as a result, NASA used the fuel to launch rockets.
See more stories about NASA.
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